VS Note: My guest today is scifi romance author Liza O’Connor, here to share an excerpt from her new release, ARRIVAL: TITAN.
Liza: Sometimes, it doesn’t matter.
Sometimes it does.
Drake wants to land in the dried sea bed, far away from all the lakes. Nix That!
A few of the scientists were leaning towards going to the south pole. While they didn’t know for certain whether the lake there was methane or ethane or something else, it would be warmer, and the sun would make it a bit brighter than the north pole, which was the darkest and coldest place on Titan at -295 degrees.
Fortunately, the majority of the scientist kept their heads screwed on.
Titan has no temperature that will be considered ‘warm’ for humans. That’s why they worked so hard to make their suits so they could survive in -295 F weather. Going to the warmer south pole so the temp would be -250 makes no sense at all. In either case: with the suit they can survive, without the suit they freeze to death.
Fortunately, the students argued against the south pole since the lake is smaller and they have no idea if it holds methane. Scarlett, the AI, agreed with them.
Dangers continue even as the crew of soldiers, scientists, and brilliant teens quantum leap to space near Titan.
Captain Drake has his own agenda, and it doesn’t include Colonel Lancaster, or the students being alive for much longer. Fortunately, the scientists and students are a formidable group to go against. The attempted takeover is stopped with only one death.
When Scarlett lands the ship on the north pole near the methane lake, they discover several sentient life forms. They also learn that the moon, Pan, is actually a ship called the Death Star, mining minerals in the outer rings of Saturn. Even more shocking—Jupiter is not a planet, but a disguised ‘eye in the sky’ watching over the mining interests of a superior sentient planet.
“If we are going to land on the north pole, this would be the appropriate action. But would you rather not land where the probe did. That land was very flat.”
Ben spoke up at once. “Beg your pardon, sir, but if you recall, based on the pictures, there were hills and the winds played havoc upon the probe.”
“But more importantly, we need to land very close to a methane lake, so we have the ability to create fuel, water, and oxygen at once. What we brought with us won’t last long. I know the gravity is only one-fourteenth of Earth’s, but that could still consume more fuel than we have if later we need to move for some reason. Landing on the north pole is our best bet to survive.”
Lancaster spoke, “Sounds logical, can I get feedback from my other scientists?”
Victor spoke up. “The majority agrees. Three of us would prefer the South Pole, given there is slightly more sun and it’s slightly warmer. However, that does make the winds stronger, and there is only one lake, which has never been tested. It is probably methane, but it could be some other liquid as well.”
“I like the warmer and more sun part,” Lancaster admitted.
Anthony spoke up. “Honestly, sir. I don’t think you’d be able to tell the difference between warm and cold on Titan. We’d freeze to death in either case within a second. So, in my opinion sunshine, nor temperature should be considered in the matter. Our critical need to survive is methane. We know for a fact that one of the lakes in the north pole is a methane lake.”
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About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.
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